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India’s gold imports likely to jump 11% to 1,000 tonnes in 2015

Mumbai(PTI): Buoyed by a sharp fall in gold prices globally, India is likely to see a jump of 11% in imports of the metal to 1,000 tonnes this year, says a trade body.

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According to the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation, the world’s second-biggest gold consumer had imported around 900 tonnes in 2014.

“Gold import is estimated at around 1,000 tonnes in 2015 calendar year compared to around 900 tonnes last year. Imports are likely to increase because of low global prices,” All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation Chairman G V Sreedhar said at an event.

He said imports through smuggling are estimated to be around 100 tonnes this year.

According to the Federation, India has already imported 850 tonnes of gold from January-September of 2015 as against 650 tonnes in the first nine-months of last year.

Gold imports are expected to be 150-200 tonnes in the last quarter as against 300 tonnes in the year-ago period.

The World Gold Council has said in its latest report that India’s gold demand in the October-December quarter will be more muted.

“Lingering concerns over the health of the rural Indian economy and local gold prices remaining in close proximity to Rs 27,000 per 10 grams level in recent weeks also give reasons to adopt a prudent outlook for the usual fourth quarter uplift in Indian demand,” it had said in the report.

Although the upsurge in demand during July-September period partially compensated for the second quarter’s poor turnout, it also ate into ‘normal’ seasonal demand that would take place between September and November, the report said.

Festival and wedding purchases were brought forward to take advantage of the price dip, therefore, demand towards the end of the year is likely to be correspondingly affected, it added.

Gold is the second-largest import item for India after petroleum. Higher gold import bill adversely affects the country’s current account deficit.

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